Hidden Gem

by: Virginia Bullington

photography by: Virginia Bullington

I have been getting takeout food from the Nantucket Trading Post since Thai food filled the menu. After that it was Brazilian, and now it is El Salvadoran. Every time I walk through the door it still looks like a small variety store. But to say this is one of the island’s hidden culinary treasures is to miss the complete picture.

Like the handful of vibrant immigrant communities that call this island home, the Trading Post hides in plain sight. Seeking it out, just like finding ways to make connections with disparate communities on-island, has its rewards.

Dora Lemus, chef and owner of the Nantucket Trading Post, shows off the Montanero, a dish with bacon, plantains, and rice.

To step inside the store is to be transported. The popularity of the Trading Post is not exclusive to the Latin American population of the island. Rather, the spirit of
the store is also representative of the culturally diverse year-round community here.

It is a completely bilingual space, with menus and signage in both Spanish and English and international grocery offerings. The shelves are stocked with teas, candy and snacks from all over the world. You can buy homemade horchata. There are refrigerators holding queso fresco, crema and curtido.

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